Author Archives: George Simmers

After many years as a teacher, I retired and began researching for a Ph.D. on the fiction of the Great War – especially the books, stories and plays that were written during the War or immediately afterwards.

Tunnel Trench’ – and Arnold Bennett

Tunnel Trench is a play by Hubert Griffith, first staged in 1924 by the Repertory Players at the Princes Theatre. It was one of those club performances where the play was presented for just one night in the hope that a commercial management might take it up for a longer run. No managements seem to […]

Who is the politician?

I’m currently reading (and admiring) C.R. Benstead’s 1930 novel, Retreat, whose central figure is a chaplain attached to an artillery unit in the Fifth Army during the momentous  German assault of March-April 1918. The novel graphically describes the efforts of the over-extended unit to hold their position as the Germans relentlessly advanced. But a detail […]

Coming Soon to a Cinema near You…

The 2017 film that I am most looking forward to is, of course, Wonder Woman. In this movie the legendary heroine (daughter of Zeus) comes to the early twentieth century to sort out World War One. There have been several trailers, and this YouTube video combines most of the meat of  them.

Richard Blaker essay online

Richard Blaker I’ve added a lengthy essay about the war novelist Richard Blaker to the resources on this site. I wrote it several years ago, and it is in fact a draft of what was to have been a chapter in my Ph.D. thesis, a case study of the changing attitudes towards the war of […]

Kinmel in the ‘Mail’, continued

On March 10, 1919, three days after the initial report, this appeared in the Mail: On March 14th, this first report from the inquest appeared:

Kinmel riots in the Daily Mail

Readers of this blog have recently been again showing interest in the events at Kinmel Camp in 1919. I thought I’d take a look at how the disturbances were reported in the Daily Mail (March 7, 1919). Here is the initial report. I shall upload some later reports tomorrow.

Knocking down the Cenotaph

An omnibus had crashed into and half knocked down the Cenotaph. Wyndham carried his mind back through the years. It had been for this end that the heroes of the Great War had died. This is from the Earl of Halsbury’s 1944 (published in 1926), a ‘Future War’ novel written as part of his campaign […]

Chaplains

On the University of Birmingham’s website there is an interesting essay by Michael Snape on the role and reputation of Army chaplains in the First World War. It attempts to defend them from the accusation of being distant and ineffectual figures who kept away from the front line. It is well worth reading and partly, […]

The Love of an Unknown Soldier

I have recently been given the chance to look at a fascinating book, The Love of an Unknown Soldier: Found in a Dugout, first published in London in September 1918, by John Lane, The Bodley Head. (The book’s Canadian edition can be viewed online at the Internet Archive .) In an introductory explanation, Lane explains:

‘The spate of war books and plays which all are dreading…’

Thanks to Mary Grover for sending me this clipping from the Sheffield Telegraph, September 1939. Their sardonic regular columnist P. G. Bond is foretelling that among the horrors of war will be a spate of war literature. Interestingly, he assumes that this will be just like the books and plays that came out of the […]